Write one page response to post below

 

Write one page response to post below. From all of the readings and lessons so far, planning for a crisis seems to be the most critical factor in predicting the success or failure of the response. One aspect vital to the planning stage is training the personnel likely to be involved in handling the crisis. Depending on the type of crisis and size of the organization, this may be a whole group effort or the work of a crisis management team. At my command, we have some contingencies in place that call for a specialized group, such as in the event of a crash, and some that are an “all-hands” effort. In either case, the factors I see as most important for running a drill are an instilled understanding of why the drill is being run, finding the right personalities for the job, the use of real-world elements and repetition. First, all exercises require the trainees to have an understanding of why they are practicing for an event that has not yet occurred, and may never occur. According to Van Dam, Van Der Locht, and Chiaburu (2013), trainees must see the training as relevant to job performance in order to develop a motivation to learn the skills. Not many people like to feel as if their time is being wasted when they have a long to-do list waiting for them back at the office. In order to fully capture the audience’s attention, it must be clear what the potential crisis is, the possible negative outcomes and how critical of a role each member has in preventing unnecessary damage. Along this line, I also found Kaplan, LaPort, and Waller’s (2013) article interesting in terms of how personality type can affect the ability to operate in a crisis. While their study yielded mixed results, I do think that during simulated crisis drills, leaders should be on the lookout for those whose employees who seem better suited to handle the stress and confusion of a crisis and those who may not be as strong, whether it be based on stress management ability, general positive affect or greater experience. Someone may be a great employee, but not the best person to have coordinating a crisis and it is better to know this in advance. One way to test this is to add in contingencies that may not be part of the standard drill and see how people respond. Prewitt and Weil (2014) wrote that, “a leader should select team members who are willing to step up to the plate despite the possibility that their decision just might be wrong in spite of their best efforts.” If employees remain calm and feel properly supported by their organization, they will be willing to test out creative solutions that could improve the existing emergency response plans. Another major factor that determines the success of training simulations is that of the use of identical elements (Van Dam, Van Der Locht, & Chiaburu, 2013). Instead of training based on very generalized scenarios, the drills should closely emulate the stimuli that will be experienced in the field during an actual crisis. This modeling after real-world elements helps to ensure that the training is relevant to the workplace, as well as allowing staff members to easily transfer the skills learned from a training environment to the job (Van Dam, Van Der Locht, & Chiaburu, 2013). For example, we run our fuel spill drills using our actual spill kits and working around our actual aircraft. This allows our staff to become comfortable working in the environment the issue would actually occur in. Additionally, all unplanned roadblocks that may come up during the containment of the spill can be resolved and discussed. For example, the hangar door may become stuck, preventing the spill kits from getting to the scene. Preparing for this contingency may not happen if the drills are run in the sterile environment of a training classroom. The final factor that is critical to the success of drills in repetition. The more often the employees are able to work through a simulated crisis, the more prepared they will be for the real deal. Waller, Zhinke and Pratten (2014) believe that repetition is important in the creation of a transactive memory system as well as a sense of collective efficacy. Transactive memory is similar to muscle memory, in which actions begin to feel instinctual in a given situation. When an action becomes routine it aids success by “diminishing the load on working memory capacity” (Waller, Zhinke, & Pratten, 2014). The second benefit of repetition is the formation of collective efficacy. The participants in the exercise begin to visualize how all members of the team work together which adds to team confidence and effectiveness (Waller, Zhinke, & Pratten, 2014). A drill is successful when all members of the team feel confident in their ability to handle the crisis. This could be as simple as knowing a few roles well or as all encompassing as confidence as an on-scene leader. I have seen drills run where the outcome was the timely containment of a crisis, but there were still team members who felt confused and unsure of what they should be doing. In a training scenario it is easy to have the strongest, most experienced people leading the drill. However, in real life a crisis can occur at any time, even when these strong leaders are off-site, injured, or worse. All team members need to be aware of how to handle various situations for the training to be considered effective. Veronneau, Cimon and Roy (2013) wrote, “An organization is only as resilient as its least resilient element” (p. 213). It is crucial that every member of a crisis response team be well prepared, as every team member could have a critical role to play should a real crisis arise. Kaplan, S., LaPort, K., & Waller, M. J. (2013). The role of positive affectivity in team effectiveness during crises. Journal Of Organizational Behavior, 34(4), 473-491. Van Dam, K., Van Der Locht. M, & Chiaburu, D. S. (2013). Getting the most of management training: The role of identical elements for training transfer. Personnel Review, 42(4), 422-439. Véronneau, S., Cimon, Y., & Roy, J. (2013). A model for improving organizational continuity. Journal of Transportation Security, 6(3), 209-220. Waller, M. J., Zhinke, L., & Pratten, R. (2014). Focusing on teams in crisis management education: An integration and simulation- based approach. Academy Of Management Learning & Education, 13(2), 208-221.

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